“Airbnb Inc. is offering free short-term housing for up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees who are fleeing the Russian invasion of their country and will work with neighboring European states to provide long-term stays.”
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky says he wrote to the governments of Poland, Romania, Germany, and Hungary to offer support housing refugees. Free housing will be funded by Airbnb, donors, and hosts. See the Bloomberg interview here.
MMGY Travel Intelligence surveyed Americans planning to visit Europe about the war in Ukraine to understand its impact on Europe’s tourism recovery. Findings in summary: The war in Ukraine puts Americans in wait-and-see mode for European travel planning. Executive Vice President Chris Davidson tells The Travel Vertical, “Though we focused our recent survey on Americans’ sentiment toward travel to Europe, this war will certainly impact U.S. domestic travel as well. For example, rising gas prices will influence road trip decisions and will also increase the cost of air travel. Combined with other inflationary pressures, the situation could create downward pressure on travel demand over the next few months. However, we remain optimistic that strong economic sanctions and alignment of the international community in opposition to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine will shorten the duration of the conflict. And, we continue to be bullish on travel for 2022.”
Traveler sentiment and behavior show the war is now twice as likely as COVID-19 to impact travel plans..but MMGY Global CEO Clayton Reid remains positive—read why here.
Gas prices in the U.S. have shattered the all-time high, hitting $4.17 for a gallon of regular fuel, according to AAA’s national average. The previous record, set in 2008 was $4.11.
Zartico + Near have announced a new strategic development from April 1 to expand the view of movement within a destination. Zartico will increase the volume of global human movement data received from Near into the Zartico Integrated Data Model. Read more here.
The first-ever, “North America’s 50 Best Bars” is being published, and announced at an awards ceremony in New York City on June 7, 2022 with sponsorship by Perrier (which may or may not be one’s drink of choice in the very best bars). Information on voting and how a fair representation of the geographical bar landscape works is here.
Visit Temecula Valley, a wine growing region in Southern California (yup!), wants to break the world record for the longest toast relay, currently held by Coca-Cola with 1,300 people participating. The event on April 26, 2022 kicks off their new destination campaign, “Live Glass Full.”
U.S. Travel Association will form a Sustainability Working Group representing a cross-section of its membership. The organization has identified five priorities for pursuing a policy that leads in fostering sustainability in tourism, these identified via member feedback:
- Spotlighting industry progress, and telling stories on the ongoing actions travel is taking, including innovations
- Amplifying industry goals and leadership, to reinforce that travel has to lead in this
- Highlighting why sustainability matters through events and research
- Identifying the right policies to drive this change
- Defending against harmful policies that slow progress towards sustainability
“Since its establishment, Brand USA has generated over $25 billion in international visitor spending in the U.S.—producing undeniable economic benefit to local economies throughout the country. This month, the entire travel industry celebrates 12 years of this incredible marketing success and the value it provides—which continues to market America to the world.” — U.S. Travel Association
SXSW® is back (March 11-20, 2022) as a live and online (URL + IRL) event in Austin. The Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture and Tulsa Remote are attending March 13-16 and Abby Kurin, Executive Director, says there will be four midweek activations, including 13 startups and 18 bands. Visit Forth Worth is heading back to SXSW for what COO Mitch Whitten is calling their “biggest activation yet” on March 12-14.
Quoted in CMO Today /The Wall Street Journal, “‘Nashville really didn’t believe it was cool until other people started telling us we are.’ — Libby Callaway, founder of the public relations firm The Callaway, who said she once had a difficult time convincing major fashion houses to dress country stars. Now, cities like Nashville and Atlanta are attracting more attention from brands and influencers.”
The age of snappy, short-form video is here. Meta Platforms Inc. launched its short-video product Reels for all Facebook users worldwide last week, ramping up their rivalry with TikTok. The expansion of Reels comes after TikTok closed out 2021 as the most-downloaded app, overtaking Instagram in popularity among younger users.
The Utah state legislature gave a big win to the state’s urban hotel industry, passing HB373: Convention & Tourism Business Assessment Area Act last week.
Hawaii Governor David Ige announced that Hawaii’s Safe Travels program for domestic travelers will end on Friday, March 25, 2022. That means individuals arriving from the continental U.S. will not be required to create a Safe Travels account, show their COVID-19 vaccination status, or take a pre-travel test.
The team at Visit Durango took the pledge to “Care for Durango.” Recently they ran their first river clean-up of 2022 and are looking forward to holding regular river clean-up days with volunteers taking the pledge and joining in.
Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing has announced that after a four-year hiatus, Vermont has rejoined Discover New England, a regional destination marketing organization dedicated to promoting international visitation to all six member states: Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
Maine Office of Tourism has awarded a $284,000 contract to Coraggio Group, consultants in Portland, Oregon, to craft a new destination management plan. “It is not just about getting volumes of visitors here, it is about getting the right balance of visitation and balancing that with the residents’ quality of life, economic development and tourism,” said Steve Lyons, Maine State Travel Director, as reported in Portland Press Herald.